Doctor Luiza Spiru: Ana Aslan, a pioneer of predictive medicine

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Romanian Ana Aslan, the creator of gerontology, started talking about today’s greatest medical trend, which is predictive and preventative medicine, in the 1950s, Dr. Luiza Spiru, a specialists in geriatrics and gerontology, the psychology of ageing and anti-ageing medicine, chair of the Ana Aslan International Foundation and head of the Diagnosis and Treatment Centre of Memory Impairments of the Elias Hospital of Bucharest, told in a recent interview.

She added that Aslan was a pioneer back then and had a futuristic frame of mind, noticing where the humankind was headed for, namely that ageing will affect a great majority of the population. ‘The hasty pace of population ageing and the lengthening of human life spans, particularly in developed countries, are contemporary realities that cost governments and insurance systems dearly and require the provision of life quality adjusted to the modern society,’ said Spiru, adding that Aslan understood long ago where we were headed for.

Spiru said she did not know Aslan personally. ‘I was less interested in the commercial aspect of her work that made her a star in the world, namely cosmetics and creams. I have learned her experience in slowing down ageing and studying the phenomenon and I have admired her for her science first,’ said Spiru. ‘I established the Ana Aslan International Foundation in 2000 and I am the only Romanian member of it.

All the partners and professors with whom I have been working insist that our organisation should be dealing first of all with research in slowing down ageing and prevention, with emphasis on brain ageing. We have tried to redefine and create a brand called Aslan,’ Spiru pointed out. Another objective of the foundation is training in these fields and to this end the foundation has trained and retrained more than 2,400 specialists in internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, the psychology of ageing and clinical psychology.

The organisation is supported by the prestigious European Association of Predictive Medicine and Prevention. ‘Predictive e medicine will change the way of thinking about the illness potentials of patients, while providing long-term prognoses. Modern medicine will certainly use the illness markers provided by such approach,’ said Spiru.

‘Age diagnosis and brain ageing made up the core preoccupations in the Aslan re-branding conducted by our organisation. Our aim is to provide brain diagnoses at every stage in our life. Some specialists forget that any problem in the cortex affects the internal organs,’ Spiru said. She added that memory impairments in Romania are very likely to occur because of stress, and their prevalence is higher among women than men and there is a very high risk of occurrence at young age as a result of depressive states being neglected.

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